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HRDS to build 1,000 houses in Attappadi for tribals

Sadgraha Tribal housing project has plans to cultivate organic medicainal herbs in 5,000 acres in Attappadi with the support of Adivasis.

Published on January 31, 2019

PAZHANIAMMA is a widow residing in Aanakatti Ooru. She was living in an old house and when she applied for one to HRDS India, an NGO, for her unemployed son, Nandakumar, it was sanctioned and completed.

“Each house is a 370-square feet pre-fabricated structure built at a cost of Rs. 3,92,580 ” AjiKrishnan, founder secretary of HRDS India, told Express. “A simple application is received at the HRDS India office in Mattathkad, Attappadi, from those Adivasis who own a least 2 cents. Subsequently, a field team goes and verifies the contents in the form. There were many Adivasis who were living on rent. If their relatives were to donate two cents, a house will be allotted. We have built 300 houses and it is pro-posed to complete 1,000 houses in Attappadi in the first phase alone,” he said. HRDS India mobilises resources from CSR funds of corporates.
The houses contain two bed- rooms, one hall, an open kitch- en and an attached toilet. Each house is made of pre-fabricated materials and is completed in15 working days. “We are awaiting the confirmation from the Union Tribal Minister Jual Oram to our request for handing over the keys of the houses at a function planned in Attappadi soon , ” said Aji Krishnan.“In Sholayur panchayat, the construction of houses is progressing in the six Oorus of Aanakatti , Thoova , Kullukoor, Marappalam, Nallasingha and Dasanoor. In Agali panchayat, the houses have been built in Kottathara, Vadakkottathara, Omapadika, Naickarpadi and Bhoothivazhi Oorus,” said P Sudevan, project director.

Each house is a 370-square feet pre-fabricated structure built at a cost of C3,92,580. The houses contain two bedrooms, one hall, an open kitchen and an attached toilet. Each house is made of pre-fabricated materials and is completed in 15 working days.


"We have built 300 houses and it is proposed to complete 1,000 houses in Attappadi in the first phase alone."
Aji Krishnan, founder secretary, HRDS India


“A few ITDP officials came to me and warned if the houses of the HRDS is accepted, they will not get any benefits from the local panchayat or the ITDP,” said Pazhaniamma. She said the houses constructed by Ahads which has since been wound up after the Japan-based Overseas Economic Development Fund (OEDF) loan ended, were of good quality. They had constructed houses in the Oorus of Oothukuzhi, Kathiranpathy and Sambarkod. However, the houses allotted by the panchay at through the ITDP more than a decade ago have been abandoned midway by contractors. Vigilance inquiries had also been instituted. Middlemen often extract commissions which finally led to a situation of paucity of funds in the hands of the contractor, she said.

“One of the main drawbacks of earlier schemes was there was no proper monitoring based on the funds released. Therefore, 70 per cent of the houses allotted in Attappadi over the years remained incomplete,” said Narayanan, presi- dent of the Moopans council and former ITDP official who is also associated with HRDS In- dia. The Sadgraha Tribal hous- ing project of HRDS planned to build 1,000 houses each in the districts of Wayanad and Idukki apart from Attappadi. It is also planned to cultivate organ- ic medicinal herbs in 5,000 acres in Attappadi with the support of the Adivasis, said S Krishnakumar, former MP and president of the HRDS India.

HRDS has begun the ground- work for beginning organic me- dicinal cultivation as a joint venture between HRDS and the Adivasi farmers. The seeds will be provided by Ayurveda companies like Dabur, Himalaya and Patanjali and they will buy back the produce. The Adivasis can work on their plantations and the wages will be paid by HRDS. Post-harvest, 60 per cent of the profit will be given to the Adivasis and the remaining 40 per cent will be kept in a separate account.